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FARAFARA Cure FA

Meet the Community

You are not alone. The entire FA community, also known as the FAmily, is taking this journey with you. Meet a few of our dynamic people with FA below.  New Meet the Community interviews are posted every Monday, so be sure to visit often.  Please e-mail info@curefa.org if you would like to be interviewed for a Meet the Community post.
 

FARA Ambassadors

The FARA Ambassadors are a group of people living with FA who are committed to supporting FARA in the search for a treatment and cure. They represent the community by speaking at events, meeting pharmaceutical partners, giving media interviews, and more.

Meet the FAmily!


Abby Yingling

Meet AbbyName: Abby Yingling

Age: 19

Where do you call home? I live in a small suburb of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Education: In the fall, I will be returning to York College of Pennsylvania as a sophomore undeclared student. I am exploring my options of being a Recreation and Leisure major with a therapeutic concentration. I want to have a career where I can work with people who have physical disabilities!

Occupation/Employment: Along with being a student, I have a work study position as a desk attendant, as well as a summer job at Michael’s Arts & Crafts as a cashier.

How long have you been living (or known you are living) with Friedreich's Ataxia? When I was nine years old, my mom noticed that my left foot was turning in when I walked. I was sent to a neurologist who diagnosed me with Charcot Marie Tooth. It wasn’t until I was thirteen that I was sent to a cardiologist, due to experiencing dizziness, that he suspected something different was going on. Meanwhile, my youngest brother began showing similar characteristics. Finally, when I was 16, both my neurologist and cardiologist sent us to Dr. Lynch. After genetic testing it was confirmed that my brother Chase and I have FA.

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Jason Drake

Jason DrakeName: Jason Drake

Age: 26

Where do you call home? Franklin, Virginia

Relationship status? Do you have children? No (but quite a few nephews!)

Occupation/Employment: Farmer

Education: High School and some college.

How long have you been living (or known you are living) with Friedreich's Ataxia? 10 years; I was diagnosed in 2004 through blood work.

Do you have any known family history of Friedreich's Ataxia or similar symptoms? No.

Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. I was walking independently until I was 21; then I started using a walker to help me get around for a few years, and now I use a wheelchair about 80% of the time.

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Christin Haun

Name: Christin Haun

Age: 43

Where do you call home? Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Relationship status? Do you have children? Divorced, no children.

Occupation/Employment: I do not work anymore.

Education: AA in Psychology and BS in Special Education. Alma Mater: Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OKlahoma.

How long have you been living (or known you are living) with Friedreich's Ataxia? 29 years diagnosed with FA. I was diagnosed initially by my orthopedist that recognized the correlation between scoliosis and unusual gait patterns. His hunch was confirmed by a neurologist.

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